From AnthroWiki
Revision as of 13:10, 21 December 2021 by Odyssee (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Krishna with cow and flute

Krishna (Sanskritm., कृष्ण kṛṣṇa, literally "the black one") is a Hindu form of the Divine and is usually worshipped as the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu. For his followers, he is the manifestation of the Supreme. The sacred scriptures describe Krishna's body tone as comparable to a fresh thundercloud. He always has a flute with him and wears a peacock feather in his hair. His illegitimate lover and Shakti is the shepherd girl Radha (skrt. f., राधा), who is married to the cowherd Ayanagosha and is also considered the goddess of devotion (Bhakti). Although Krishna is not considered a historical person in the scientific sense, Hindus assume that he actually lived.

Krishna, Vishnu-Christ and the Nathanic Jesus

According to Rudolf Steiner, Krishna is the sister soul of Adam, who remained in the world of souls as an angel-like being after the Fall. From the beginning, she stood in close relationship to the Christ, who worked through her and was thus able to accomplish the preliminary steps to the Mystery of Golgotha. Shortly before the dawn of the Kali-Yuga, the dark age in which natural clairvoyance was extinguished in most people, she appeared in the form of Krishna, through whom Vishnu-Christ revealed himself. At the turn of the age, she was born on earth as the Nathanian Jesus boy, whose bodily shells made possible the bodily incarnation of the Christ with the Jordan baptism. It was also through the light of this sister soul of Adam that Paul of Tarsus recognised the Risen Christ during his Damascus experience. (Lit.:GA 142, p. 121ff)

Stories from Krishna's life

Krishna kills Kansa

The Bhagavatapurana tells of the circumstances of his birth. According to this, shortly after his birth, Krishna is brought to safety from King Kansa, who is seeking the boy's life. Kansa had been prophesied that the eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki would kill him. He imprisons the parents in the palace dungeon and kills the first six of Devaki's boys; the seventh can be saved. The eighth son, Krishna, is born and in a temporary vision the parents can see him in his cosmic form with four hands. His miraculous powers manifest themselves in the guards falling asleep, the dungeon chains breaking and the doors bursting open. Vasudeva escapes with the newborn and is able to take him to foster parents in the village of Vrindavan, in what is now the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. To destroy the child, the king has all newborns killed, which reminds one of the later infanticide in Bethlehem. But Krishna survives and grows up as a shepherd among cowherds. Therefore, his story is especially associated with the worship of the sacred cow.

As an adult, he returns to the place of his birth, Mathura, in the present-day Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He kills Kansa and returns the throne to the rightful king Ugrasena. The Mahabharata reports that he was king of Dwarka, now in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Still popular today are the stories of his childhood, which are an important theme in the Bhagavatapurana; for example, the sequences in which he steals the butter that his foster mother or the neighbouring women have made and hidden from Krishna and his friends. These scenes of his youth are still variously depicted in the performing arts and in Indian dance, such as the Bharatanatyam.

Krishna and Radha

An important part of the mythology and motif for spiritual parables are the games with the shepherd girls, the gopis: how he makes them fall in love and they forget all their duties over it, how they also always forgive him for his sometimes evil jokes. Krishna's companion, in the spiritual sense his Shakti (energy or inspiration), is Radha. After initially sulking because of his many love affairs, which she observed from afar, Krishna and Radha become lovers. The spiritual, but also erotic love between Krishna and Radha, as well as the other shepherd girls, is considered by Hindus, depending on their affiliation or school, to be a symbol of God's love for man and the yearning love for God (bhakti) or a glorification of lust. Radha commits suicide after Krishna abandons her.

One story tells how Krishna takes away the clothes of the gopis who are bathing in the river and climbs a tree with the bundle. To get their clothes back, the shamed ones have to appear before him naked, one by one. Often an erotic connotation is attributed to this episode, but according to Bhagavatapurana, Krishna was a small child at the time of this incident and not a youth, as is often assumed. According to another legend, he freed 16108 abducted princesses from the clutches of a demon and married them all.

Most stories of Krishna, including the childhood legends, are characterised by extreme brutality (beheadings, mutilations) and immorality, which devout Hindus like to conceal. Krishna not only slays countless of his opponents and enemies (demons), but also his uncle Kansa. He seduces married women who leave their husbands and children to participate in his erotic games, whereupon he enjoys them and then abandons them. Krishna's life culminates in his participation in a mythological battle of Kurukshetra that surpasses all others in bloodthirstiness and deaths, described in all its gory detail in the epic Mahabharata, where he transmits the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to his friend Arjuna and incites him to war against his own family (out of duty), resulting in their destruction.

36 years after the battle of Kurukshetra, according to the Bhagavadpurana, the Yadavas, of whom Krishna is the head, slay each other at a drinking party in a madness that overcomes them. Krishna himself is mistakenly wounded by a hunter's arrow in old age and dies after forgiving the unfortunate man. According to Hindu tradition, he returned to heaven in 3102 B.C., this date is considered the beginning of the dark age, the Kali Yuga.[1]


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: URL:
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. According to Rudolf Steiner, the Kali Yuga did not begin until 3101 BC, one year later.
This article is partly based on the article Krishna from the free encyclopedia de.wikipedia and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike. Wikipedia has a list of authors available.